Frank Sinatra – Nothing But The Best (The Frank Sinatra Collection)

May 15, 2008

Since this latest “greatest hits” Frank Sinatra compilation was coming from something called “Frank Sinatra Enterprises,” I was hoping it’d be a more comprehensive collection of his work than past releases like it, one that spans the recording he did for Columbia, Capitol and Reprise. Alas, though, this is another Reprise collection, the label he formed after he decided to leave Capitol, so you’re getting music made between 1960 and 1984, a good chunk of his career, with some great songs, but not exactly the 50 year-plus career spanning retrospective a title like Nothing But The Best might indicate to some listeners (like me). All that said, if you happen to be new to Sinatra’s work, or are wondering why some people regard him to be the major figure in 20th century American popular music, Nothing But The Best makes a pretty strong case for both his artistry and his popularity. (Plus you get the Frank Sinatra US postal stamp that went on sale on May 13. Bonus!) It’s got some obvious inclusions among its 22 tracks, like “Summer Wind,” “Strangers In The Night,” “My Way” and “Theme From New York, New York,” but it’s also got cool versions of “The Girl From Ipanema,” “Somethin’ Stupid” and a previously unreleased version of “Body And Soul,” done in 1984. If you dig on this, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t, you can try some of his earliest work, done for Columbia from 1943 through 1952, on the single disc collection, Frank Sinatra Sings His Greatest Hits, then move on to what many consider to be the pinnacle of his career, Classic Sinatra: His Greatest Performances 1953-1960. (Both are single disc collections. Multi-disc collections are also available.) Those collections, in tandem with Nothing But The Best, should make you a Frank fan forever, unless, of course, you’re a square or something. (Just kidding…sorta.)


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